So you don’t have much homework tonight? Assignments and study notes up to date? Have you ever thought about spending a bit of time each night learning touch typing?

Touch Typing is when you can type without looking at the keys while you type. This means you can type much faster than if you had to look and see where each key is, and it means you can keep looking at whatever it is you are typing instead of the keys. This is an incredibly useful skill to develop – it will help you at school and later in life as well, improving your efficiency and speeding up work on assignments and essays. Once you learn touch typing, you will know where the keys are located on the keyboard through your sense of touch and you will be able to look at the screen or whatever you are typing rather than the keyboard.

On there is a section to get you started on your journey of learning touch typing. Click on unit Technology Tools and on the Learning Touch Typing page you will find links to lots of free software to help you develop your touch typing skills as well as some great tips to get you started. There is also a discount voucher to the professional TypeQuick course. Being able to touch type will definitely make life easier for the students in the senior years and beyond. 10 minutes practice a day could end up making a big difference.

But don’t neglect your handwriting skills either. As long as you have to submit handwritten work or handwrite for tests and exams it is also important to improve the legibility and speed of your handwriting. Go to visit the Writing Skills unit and click on the Improving Handwriting section. You’ll find some excellent strategies for improving your handwriting as well as some special pens that can assist you with this such as the RingPen shown below.


Should students type or handwrite their study notes?

Short answer, they are better off doing whatever the exam or test will be. So if the exam is handwritten, it is better to handwrite notes. This creates muscle memory, it sets up a pattern in the brain of what they will be doing in the exam. If they do not have exams, then it does not really matter, they can choose to either type or handwrite their notes.

For students who do have written exams, they are better off getting used to writing as much as possible, especially as students do less and less pen to paper and more and more on the keyboard.  It is also argued that by writing the information, you set up pathways of familiarity and recognition in your brain that will kick in when you are in an examination situation.

On the other hand, some subjects have so much content that to try and wade through it with handwritten study notes would take forever.  A good compromise for students who would prefer to type is to start making initial notes on the computer as this allows you to cut and paste, group information and rearrange it with ease. Once you have a core set of notes completed, you may like to further summarise some sections on paper using a more graphical or visual form of note-taking such as mind-mapping. And when you are learning the notes, read a section, then see what you can write without looking, this way you will be testing if the information is in long-term memory and practicing your handwriting at the same time!

Given that students now have to be masters of both the pen and the keyboard it is important to develop both legible handwriting and touch typing skills. When exams all go to typing at some stage, which they will inevitably do, everything will change.

Sarah Cooke
Careers Advisor


School students will swap their school bags for sleeping bags later this year for the annual Anglicare School Sleep out. Although St Stephen’s isn’t part of the Anglican Schools Commission, Anglicare were impressed by our commitment to giving back through our Service Learning arm that they extended the invitation for our community to experience sleeping rough for one night, to see how the more than 9000 West Australians who are homeless live. If you’re interested in forming or joining a St Stephen’s School team, go to

Our School team page is at:


Moving up to Secondary can be a bit daunting for some but the Year 7-10 Mentoring Program helps to welcome the newest recruits into the fold. Year 10 students recently spent time playing games with some of the Year 7s, helping to bridge the gap from Primary to Secondary, with Celebrity Heads, UNO and Two Truths and Lie offering lots of laughs. The groups meet twice a term to provide the younger students with a familiar and friendly face before they transition into their Houses in Year 8.


Don’t forget to check out our school Careers Website

You will find all the latest careers news for students under the ‘Important Info’ tab plus a wealth of information about future pathways for our students.

Sarah Cooke

Careers Advisor


As the St Stephen’s School community recognises National Reconciliation Week, our students have been learning about the history between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The discussions in class and as a whole school have provided opportunities to explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.


St Stephen’s School is working with Surf Dive ‘n Ski to donate 200 Billabong backpacks to UnitingCare West, which will assist children in our community who are unable to go to school with supplies needed for their education. Each Primary class and Secondary homeroom have a backpack to fill with supplies – take a look below to see what items your family can donate to those in need.


There’s nothing quite like a good story time at the ELC, especially when the Year 10s come to visit! Year 10 students recently created their own children’s picture books of the Bible to read to the Year 2s. The Year 2s were delighted to listen and share the knowledge they have learned in their own Biblical Studies class.


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Have you spoken with your kids about online safety? Make sure they know how to identify risks online.

You can’t control every aspect of your child’s online use, but you can focus on keeping the lines of communication open.
Learn how to be safe and secure with the connected devices in your life.

Please check out the interactive guide for parents: and other resources from the Office of the eSafety